Mediated reality refers to the use of wearable or hand-held computer devices to manipulate an individual’s perception of their environment. It “mediates” the individual’s “reality” by using some kind of an electronic device, such as a smartphone or headset, acting as a visual filter or an overlay of the world around them and how they perceive it.
Computer-mediated reality typically involves some kind of real-world view (seen directly or via a camera) and modification of that view by a computer. The computer can add information to the view, and, or, transform it into a more useful form.
The synthesized virtual information is presented through a display which must be properly aligned and registered with the user’s field of view. This may involve using technologies like camera-based head-tracking.
One common way of integrating virtual information with an individual’s field of view involves displaying it on some kind of device like a beam splitter. It uses the human eye as the adder, therefore, achieving the superposition of both the real environment and virtual information. In other instances, the superposition can take place outside the eye using a device such as a video mixer.
Mediated reality is closely linked to other concepts like mixed reality, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The latter is a special case of mediated reality.
The field has a wide range of practical uses. For instance, it has been used on individuals with visual impairment to enhance their visual perception of the world around them. It also has applications in the design and use of interactive computer interfaces. It is also used in gaming devices, way-finding, expert advice interfaces, telemedicine, and robotics.
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